How to Cleanup your Disk in Windows XP and Windows 7

Over time a large number of temporary and unnecessary files can accumulate on your disk, which take up space and reduce the performance of your computer. You could attempt to clean these up by hand, but there’s a much better way of doing this – the Disk Cleanup utility

The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk by searching your disk for files that you can safely delete. You can choose to delete some or all of the files. Use Disk Cleanup to perform any of the following tasks to free up space on your hard disk:

  • Remove temporary Internet files.
  • Remove downloaded program files. For example, ActiveX controls and Java applets that are downloaded from the Internet.
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Remove Windows temporary files.
  • Remove optional Windows components that you are not using.
  • Remove installed programs that you no longer use.

Disk Cleanup In Windows XP

You can start Disk Cleanup, by doing any of the following:

  • Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type cleanmgr, and then click OK.-or-
  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.-or-
  • In Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, click Properties, click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
Remove Files Stored on Your Hard Disk

To remove files stored on your hard disk that you no longer use, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the Disk Cleanup tab (if it is not already selected), click to select the check boxes next to the files that you want to remove, and then click OK.
  5. Click Yes to the proceed with this action, and then click OK.

Remove Windows Components

To remove Windows components that you are not using, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the More Options tab, and then under Windows components, click Clean up.The Windows Components Wizard starts.
  5. In the Componentslist, click to clear the check box next to the component(s) that you want to remove.
    • A shaded check box next to a component indicates that only some of its subcomponents are installed.If you want to remove a subcomponent, click Details, click to clear the check box next to the subcomponent(s) that you want to remove, and then click OK.
  6. Click Next.
  7. In the Completing the Windows Components Wizard page, click Finish.
  8. Click OK, click Yes to proceed with this action, and then click OK.

Remove Installed Programs

To remove programs that you no longer use, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the More Options tab, and then under Installed programs, click Clean up.The Add or Remove Programs dialog box is displayed.
  5. In the Currently installed programs list, click the program that you want to remove, and then click Remove (or Change/Remove).
  6. If you receive a prompt to confirm the removal of the program, click Yes.
  7. Repeat step 5 and 6 to remove other programs that you no longer use, and then click Close.
  8. Click OK, click Yes to proceed with this action, and then click OK.

Remove Restore Points

To remove all restore points except the most recent restore point, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the More Options tab, and then under System Restore, click Clean up.
  5. Click Yes to remove all but the most recent restore point.
  6. Click OK, click Yes to proceed with this action, and then click OK.

 Disk Cleanup In Windows 7

  1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.

  2. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze disk button. After the disk is analyzed, a dialog box appears, letting you know whether you should defragment the analyzed drives.

  3. To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment disk button. In the Current status area, under the Progress column, you can monitor the process as it happens. After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results.
  4. To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report.
  5. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.
  6. You can also schedule the Disk Defragmenter to run automatically. (Your computer might even be set up this way by default.) Under Schedule, it reads Scheduled defragmentation is turned on and then displays the time of day and frequency of defragmentation. If you want to turn off automatic defragmentation or to change the time or frequency, click Configure schedule (or Turn on Schedule, if it is not currently configured to run automatically). Change the settings, and then click OK.
  7. To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, on the title bar of the window, click the Close button.
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